A potentially history-making morning looms early on Friday when the host of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be announced.
The FIFA Council will make its decision on the host – either a joint bid between Australia and New Zealand, or Colombia, in an open vote on Thursday, with an announcement expected in the early hours of Friday (QLD time).
Four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup veteran & Roar Women captain Clare Polkinghorne says a World Cup Down Under would be immense for the sport.
“It would be massive – it’s definitely not something I would have thought could happen,” Polkinghorne said.
“There’s a bit of excitement [around the decision], but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. Anything can happen and the team has put together a great bit.
“There’s a little less competition now [with Japan pulling their bid on Monday] which is good.”
Polkinghorne holds one of Australian football’s most impressive resumes with more than 120 Westfield Matildas appearances under her belt and experience at four World Cups dating back to 2007 – a tournament she featured in as a teenager.
With women’s football continuing to go from strength-to-strength, the opportunity to host the game’s showpiece event would be immense for the next generation of Australian football according to Polkinghorne.
“We’ve had a lot of support from Matildas supporters and over the last four to five years that has steadily increased. There are a lot more people coming out to support us who are interested in the game,” she continued.
“This [hosting a World Cup] is a chance to elevate football to the next level in Australia and that’s exciting. It’s a great chance to impact the next generation.
“We’ve made so many improvements since my debut with the Matildas and the exciting thing is that there’s so much we can do to continue improving on and off the field.
“This will just help to continue the momentum and grow interest in our sport. It will help in creating the next crop of players who are passionate about the game and have the opportunity to play at the highest level and in the best environments.”